Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce & Poached Pear

"I was studying seasonal foods in my Hospitality & Catering lessons and had already made some poached pears. I wanted to raise the skill levels and execution of my dessert.  I decided to marry it with the complimentary flavours of a traditional sticky toffee pudding and butterscotch sauce. 


I have also been preserving fruit by using the dehydrators so made a pear crisp as an accompaniment."


  • 250g dates, stoned & chopped

  • 250ml black tea (made with 1 teabag)

  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 85g butter, softened

  • 175g caster sugar

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 175g self-raising flour, sieved

  • 1tsp ground mixed spice

  • 150g chopped pecan nuts or walnuts (optional)


For the Sauce

  • 100g dark muscovado sugar

  • 100g butter

  • 125ml double cream

  • ½ tsp ground ginger


For the Orange Poached Pear

  • 1 orange

  • 1 stick of cinnamon

  • 200g granulated sugar

  • 2 pears

  • Clotted cream, to serve 


  1. Heat oven to 180ºC/Gas 4.  

  2. Place the dates and tea in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 3-4 mins for dates to soften, then stir in the bicarbonate of soda.  

  3. In a bowl, cream together the butter and caster sugar, before thoroughly mixing in the eggs, flour, mixed spice, nuts and date mixture.  

  4. Butter a roughly 22cm square ( or similar) baking dish or tin (or individual ramekins and pour in the date mixture.

  5. Bake for 30 to 40 mins until the top is just firm to touch.

  6. Meanwhile, place the peeled orange zest and juice into a saucepan, just large enough to hold the pears.

  7. Add the cinnamon and sugar, pour in 500ml of water and bring to the boil. Cook until the sugar dissolves.

  8. Peel the pears, then once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat and lower the pears into the syrup.

  9. Simmer gently for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  10. For the sauce, while the pudding is cooking, make the sauce by putting the sugar, butter, cream and ginger in a saucepan.  

  11. Place over a low heat and simmer gently until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is a light toffee colour.  

  12. Serve the pudding with the poached pear, warm sauce and ice cream or clotted cream and a dehydrated pear crisp.